Friday, December 3, 2010

Exile in Kalumburu

Left or Right... We had our delivery of Mango's from Geoff in Kununurra on a mission to catch fish at Honeymoon beach with Frenchy but something didn't sit right in my stomach when i did finally turn right & head to Kalmburu and no it wasn't last nights beers!

Just prior to Drysdale river station we had our first sections of road with water pooling across them. At this point I wasn't concerned. The road was in immaculate condition and the truck was breezing through it all.

A quick bite at the station store & a chat to the local station owner gave the advice that the road is open to Kalumburu but our intended visit to the Mitchell falls wasn't going to happen as the park was now closed for the season. He also advised road crews where in the area trying to cap a section of black soil track near Theda that was causing the locals grief. Take it easy on the black soil was his advice but the rest of the road should be good as it was only just graded getting ready for the wet season. Troy grabbed a box of Pizza shapes for the drive & off to Kalumburu we headed.

only 5 minutes down the road the next storm broke. I chose to take on the station owners advice & cruised along at 40 km/h  for about 20 minutes until it passed 

The last puddle was not a drama. As we pushed on the puddles got boggier & boggier.... Hmmm the truck still pushed through without question of its ability even with tommy attached to the back

We gave a wave to the road crew who up until now had done a magnificent job on the road. We had just seen another grader firmly bogged in the mud while pushing out a spoon drain into the bush a few kilometers back.  It looked as if the crew had just dumped about 1km of red dirt capping on the black soil and the grader was having difficulty spreading it out care of all the rain in the last few hours. The track was back to one lane of redcap with pools of water on the black soil either side of the track. If it wasn't for this fresh red cap I would have surely got bogged and not been able to continue on. All this should have sent alarm bells ringing but on we pushed through despite the warning signs.

At about this point the stations ended & it turned into black fella country. No more road works. Only the Tourist dollar past this point no more live stock to export hence no value in maintaining the roads any more.  You wouldn't have thought that this was now the main road to the most northern settlement in WA. We had intended on camping for the night on the Carson river with Geoff who had some work to do at some the Telstra sites in the area. I gave him a call at the Carson on the Sat phone. It turns out he couldn't even make it to the Mitchell falls turn off  and got bogged several times. We must have been very lucky as he was only about an hour behind us.  We decided to push on for Honeymoon Bay

At last we arrived at Kalumburu. 4 hrs to do 200 km.
There was no road signs from here on so we had to ask the local store for directions. They were keen to point out that should it rain any more we could get stuck indefinitely. As we didn't have a restrictive time frame I wasn't to concerned but maybe I should have been.

The bush track to Frenchys Honeymoon bay

On arrival there was no dispute that this was the spot to hang out at. We had the  place to our selves as all the tourists had headed home and Frenchy was no where to be seen. We figured he may have been back in town so we set up camp after a long day on the road & went to bed early in anticipation of a good days fishing the next day. It turned out Frenchy had done a runner to Kununurra for one last time before the wet season. We had actually passed Frenchy back at the road works and he had caught up with Geoff back at Drysdale after Geoff abandoned his attempt to head any further north.

Hmmmm Paradise for us but for how long?

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